Feb. 16, 2012
Gauchos 53 – Highlanders 43

The UC Riverside women’s basektball team continued its struggles as the team could not recover from a bad start against the UCSB Gauchos last Thursday evening. It resulted in their third loss in a row. Both teams combined to play a tight defensive game, resulting in a low scoring affair. The Highlanders, however, could not come out on top and fell 43-53  to the Gauchos. The Highlanders fell to 5-20 overall and 3-10 in Big West. The Gauchos improved to 11-14 overall and 5-6 in Big West. This win will most likely guarantee the Gauchos a spot in the eight-team Big West Tournament.

In the first half, the Gauchos started off quickly as they got ahead 10-4 early due to the Highlanders shooting a dismal 15.4 percent from the field. The Highlanders did not score for an eight-minute period as they missed 12 shots along with two free throws. However, the Highlander defense managed to hold the Gauchos to just four points in that eight-minute period. The Highlanders finally got a basket from Kiara Harewood with 7:59 left in the first half, making the score 14-6 in favor of the Gauchos. The Highlanders did not manage to find a rhythm, finishing the first half down by 12, 12-24. The 12 points by the Highlanders in the first half were the fewest scored in UCR’s Division I history.

In the second half, the Highlanders again struggled to score points, missing eight straight shots. The Gauchos started off fast, building a run of 11-0. With Highlander Jessica Ogunnorin knocking down a jump shot, the Highlanders started a late offensive rally, but faced a deficit of 21, 14-35. The Highlanders continued to try to mount a comeback as they stopped the Gauchos on the defensive side of the court and went on a 7-0 run to cut the score to 39-25 with 7:59 left on the clock. Highlander Tre’Shonti Nottingham scored six straight points to cut the Gauchos’ lead to just 10 points, but the Highlanders could not get any closer and they lost the game 53-43. The Highlanders, however, outscored the Gauchos 33-12 in the second half.

The Highlanders were 26 percent from the field the whole game and were led by Nottingham who had 16 points. The Gauchos had four players in double digits with Emilie Johnson leading with 12 points.

Feb. 18, 2012
Mustangs 69 – Highlanders 47

The UC Riverside women’s team fell to the streaking Cal Poly Mustangs who won their seventh game in a row on Saturday evening at the Student Recreation Center. The Highlanders played the Mustangs closely as they were only down by six points at the end of the first half. In the second half, the Mustangs had an offensive explosion as they outscored the Highlanders, extending their lead to as many as 20 points. The Highlanders fell to 5-21 overall and 3-11 in Big West. The Mustangs improved to 13-12 overall, and 9-3 in the Big West.

In the first half, both teams played a close game as neither team led the other by more than four points in the first 20 minutes. The Highlanders were down by just two points with 2:47 minutes remaining. The Mustangs were leading 28-26.  With 1:46 left in the first half, a pair of free-throws by Cal Poly’s Brittany Woodard put them up by six points. Overall, the Highlanders played the second half closely as the score was tied on five occasions and the game featured five lead changes.

In the second half, Cal Poly took over the game quickly as they extended their lead to double digits in the opening minute of the second half. Just 3:44 minutes into the half, Cal Poly had a 15-2 run, giving them a massive lead of 15 points with scoreboard reading 43-28. The Highlanders faced a massive 20-point deficit with 12:09 left in the game and from that point, could not make a significant dent in the Mustang lead. The closest the Highlanders got to the Mustang lead was within 17 points on two occasions. The game ended with Cal Poly winning decidedly, 69-47, over the Highlanders.

Cal Poly outscored the Highlanders 37-21 in the second half. They were led by Kristina Santiago who led all players 19 points and 11 rebounds.  Cal Poly shot lights out in the second half with 45.8 percent from the field, while the Highlanders, comparably, shot only 23.3 percent in the second half. The Highlanders were led in scoring by Dynese Adams who had 12 points, and by Natasha Hadley who put up nine points.

The Highlanders will play on the road against Big West rival CSU Fullerton on Wednesday, Feb. 22 with tip-off scheduled at 7 pm.